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How to Knit Flat with Mindful Circular Needles?

Knitting back and forth is how most knitters learn to knit. Most of our first knitting needles are often borrowed ones from our mentor. We are taught the basic steps of knitting on a pair of single pointed needles. But, that is not the only option out there. Circular knitting needles are multi-purpose. They not only knit in seamless rounds but also works for back and forth knitting. Given their ergonomic design, beginners can easily knit with them. For many advanced knitters, circulars are everyday knitting needles used for all knitting projects. However, there are many knitters still using circular needles for knitting in the round.

If you are the proud owner of circular needles (fixed or interchangeable) or needle sets from our Mindful Collection, you have everything you need to get started. In this blog, we’ll take you through the steps of knitting back and forth with circular needles. Once you’ve knit a few projects with these needles you’ll be reaching out for them for everything else.

How to Knit Flat with Circular Needles 

Knitting Flat with Circular Knitting Needles

Circular needles are just two needle tips joined by a cable (fixed or interchangeable). If you are only used to knitting with single pointed needles for flat patterns then, pretend that there is no cable connecting the two needle tips. Hold them in your hands as any regular needles. And, if you have used circulars for round projects, then you just have to knit with them and only skip the step of joining the round. The most important thing to remember is turn the project (WIP) after each row.

1st Step - Make a slipknot onto your right-hand needle tip. This step is common for all knitting needles and projects until mentioned otherwise. Advanced knitters forego the slip knot but beginners are recommended to not miss the step.

For the slip knot, pull around 10 cm (6”) from the yarn ball or skein. Loop the working yarn over your fingers. Make a noose of the yarn and put it on your knitting needle. You will have a working yarn and a yarn tail. Pull the both yarn strands to tighten the knot around the base of the loop.

2nd Step - Cast on stitches as you normally would. The long tail cast on method is beginner-friendly and very stretchy. The trick to smooth knitting is loose and even stitches. You can also try casting on stitches with two needles of different sizes or even the same size.

The number of stitches and the method to cast will be mentioned in the pattern. If you are just practicing, cast on 30 stitches in any way you prefer. While the pattern mentions that the slip knot will be counted as your first stitch or not, you can count as the first cast on stitch.

Hold the needle tip in each hand with the cable hanging down in front of you. Spread the cast on stitches on the entire length. Make sure the stitches are not stretched.

3rd Step – Before you start knitting, turn your project so that the working yarn is on your right hand side. You have to make sure that the yarn stay in the right after every row so you need to turn.

4th Step - Knit according to your pattern. For practice try the stocking stitch pattern (alternating rows of knit and purl stitches). 

5th Step – Once your project is finished, cast off as you normally would. This step ensures that your stitches are secure and do not unravel. Like cast on stitches, this too should be stretchy.

6th Step - Weave in the end of the yarn with your darning needle. Every knitting project will have different number of yarn tails, the minimum being two, the yarn tail after you cast on and after you cast off.

Mindful Interchangeable Circular Knitting Needles

Now that you have clear instructions on how to knit back and forth with circular needles, we’ll walk you through why you should.

Why Knit Flat with Circular Needles? 

Knitting with circular needles has various advantages and it is not restricted to the purpose it was invented for. The knitting needles allow seamless projects as well as pieces that are knit flat (back and forth every row).

Now for knitting flat, circular needles are proven to be blessings. Here are a few reasons.

Keeps Weight off your Wrists and Needles 

Knitting with circular needles allows the weight of the project to be evenly divided all over the length. If you have a project that is very large like a huge blanket or a shawl, you will probably find it easier to work on circular needles. The weight of the project lies on the cable and not the needle tips. When working with heavy-weight yarn projects, it is much easier to knit with circulars. The cable will hold the weight of the project.

Accommodates a large number of stitches 

Circular needles can accommodate a large number of stitches on their entire length. Say for example if you have a 300-stitch blanket or throw, only circulars can work for such. When your project grows width-wise, it’s so much easier to accommodate all of those stitches on the long needle lengths that can be changed in the case of interchangeable circulars. You don’t need to struggle to keep your stitches all bunched up on the length of single-pointed knitting needles.

Great for Knitting on the Go 

It is much easier to pack a knitting project and circulars for your regular commute or on a holiday and pretty much everywhere on the go. The ergonomic design makes it less likely that a needle will fall from your hands. Also, the pointy tips are busy knitting so they won’t accidentally poke or hurt anyone.

Choosing Circular Knitting Needles 

With this, we hope you will be trying circular knitting needles for your next project. The needles are available in varieties of fixed and interchangeable ones. The needle tips are available in 10 and 13 cm with cables ranging from 40 cm to 150 cm. In fact, an interchangeable circular knitting needle set is a prized possession for knitters. One set has multiple needle sizes, cable lengths and accessories that make it easy for all types of knitting projects.

Once you've used circular knitting needles for a few back-and-forth projects, you'll probably find yourself reaching for them for most projects. If you have not tried the yet, don’t keep waiting. Choose the range of stainless steel circular needles from the Mindful Collection.

Happy knitting!

stainless steel knitting needles